Australia

Australia mum charged over child's murder

Image copyright AFP
Image caption CCTV footage shows a woman pushing a baby in a pram in a Melbourne park

An Australian woman who said a drunk man abducted her baby has been charged with murdering the 14-month-old girl.

Sofina Nikat, 22, reportedly confessed to killing the girl, Sanaya Sahib, after first telling police a stranger snatched the baby in Melbourne.

CCTV footage obtained by 7News showed a woman pushing a child in a pram near where Sanaya's body was found.

Other footage appeared to show the same woman calmly walking away from the area without the child.

Relatives at first pleaded with the public to stay vigilant and to help find Sanaya, as police launched a full-scale search.

Image copyright 7News
Image caption Footage taken later appears to show the same woman leaving the park without the child

Ms Nikat claimed a man of African appearance who smelt of alcohol had snatched the child from her pram as she walked near a creek.

Sanaya's body was found partially submerged in the creek the following day.

Sanaya's father Sameer Sahib told the Herald Sun he was shocked by his daughter's death and felt "sick to his stomach".

He told the paper that Ms Nikat had blocked his number for six months, but sent him a text message out of the blue asking he "come see her".

Questions have been raised about Sanaya's treatment prior to her death. Paramedics were called to treat the little girl for a seizure one week before she died.

Reports say an autopsy is expected to show the girl was smothered to death.

Ms Nikat is due to face the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Wednesday.